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Past events

International Symposium on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Development Goals (15-16 March, 2019)

On March 15, 2019: GNLU inaugurated the Symposium on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Development Goals with the stated objective of Balancing Economy and Environment for Inclusive and Equitable Growth. This symposium is a result of a collaboration between Gujarat National Law University, the University of Winnipeg, the Canadian Mennonite University, Canada.

The symposium was graced by Prof. (Dr.) Bimal N. Patel, Director of GNLU and Member of the National Security Advisory Board, Government of India, Dr. Prachi Kaul, Director of the Shastri Indo Canada Institute, New Delhi, Prof. Alan Diduck from the University of Winnipeg, Canada and Prof. Kirit Patel from the Menno Simons College, CMU, Canada. They have drawn attention of theoretical insights of law and development scholars who have questioned traditional meanings of environmental justice based simply on principles of fair treatment and equity in distribution of environmental risk. Prof. Patel stressed upon the development is sustainable when it “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The principles of sustainable development are enshrined in the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and confirmed in subsequent instruments. They include equity and justice for present and future generations - inter - and intra - generational equity; and recognize that “Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development.

The UN Declaration on the Right to Development, adopted on 4 December 1986, defines development as ‘an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.’ It places on States a duty to formulate national and international development policies aimed at the constant improvement of human well-being as well as a duty to cooperate to ensure development and eliminate obstacles to development. The Declaration calls for disarmament and upholds self-determination and sovereignty over natural wealth and resources; requires active, free and meaningful participation in development and fair distribution of its benefits; and makes equality of opportunity for development ‘a prerogative both of nations and of individuals who make up nations’. It supports a social and international order in which all rights and freedoms can be realized by all, as envisioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Development is sustainable when it “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Dr. Prachi Kaul, Director of the Shastri Indo Canada Institute, New Delhi. The Shastri Indo Canada Institute is a binational organization that promotes intellectual and cultural linkages between India and Canada through research, dialogue and exchange, to improve the quality of life of people in both countries. The Shastri Institute plays a pivotal role in Indo-Canada relations and greatly facilitated scholarship, research and exchange between Indian and Canadian universities.

The Conference is an attempt to stimulate and sustain conversation on environmental justice. The pivot of the all discussion is goal 16 of the sustainable development goals – which lays a much-needed emphasis on access to justice and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. This underlines the strong connections between sustainable development and environmental justice. Over the next couple of days, two panels over 5 sessions will grapple with issues concerning all aspects of environmental justice – procedural, distributive, recognitional and restorative. The sub themes for the symposium are diverse and comprehensive ranging from the historical reviews of legislation, policy, institutions and jurisprudence, the use and abuse of public interest litigation, to a re-gendering of the conventional legal system, and the search for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in environmental conflicts.

Prof. Alan Diduck and Prof Kirit Patel from The Winnipeg University and Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg given importance how they have entered into relations. All administrators always work hard to raise financial resources and establish new institutional collaboration. Dr Bimal, the order is reverse, he always said let us work together, resources will follow. It is true if you wait for financial resources to incubate and implement new idea, very often by the time resource come, ideas become either obsolete or innovator loses patience moves on to something else. Point it out with Shastri’s example.

The Indian judiciary is known for innovations in the legal system. The PIL, Green Benches, NGT are indeed some of the outstanding examples of legal innovations that have been recognized across the world. In the last two decades, more than 40 countries have established environmental courts at federal or local levels in their countries.

The creation of PIL is undoubtedly a credible indicator of the judiciary’s intention to address poverty, social exclusion, income inequality, and power imbalances. However, the pro-poor reputation of the judiciary has come under question in the neoliberal era. Given the unique history and phenomenal rise of judicial environmentalism in India, environmental justice issues require careful examination.

The enactment of the NGT has come at a time of accelerated economic growth in India marked by an average GDP increase per year of 7% between 1995 and 2014 (IMF 2015). The economic surge has, however, been clouded by widespread environmental degradation, income inequality, and rising poverty.

GNLU has played an instrumental role in organizing this conference. GNLU has been an ongoing partner with Environmental Justice and the Poor, conducting environmental research and providing tremendous institutional support to student researchers while in India. Several faculty members from GNLU have also been directly involved in the research.

International Conference on “Identity and the Politics of Security, Sovereignty and the Challenges of World Politics” on 15th and 16th September, 2018

GNLU Centre for Foreign Policy and Security Studies in collaborative partnership with The Jadavpur Association of International Relations (JAIR) & Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) successfully organized a two days conference on 15th and 16th September, 2018 at GNLU Campus.

The conference attempts to explore these controversies and to assess their implications for the broader Critical ‘rethinking’ of security and security studies by developing a brief account of the largely unexamined historical background against which they take place.

One of the major contributions of the ‘critical’ movement in International Relations has been to denaturalize the modern state as a starting point for analysis, and to initiate a serious examination of its historical genesis and evolution. Both the structure of the modern political order and that of the modern episteme have become areas of significant inquiry.

To examine briefly some of the ways in which the construction of the modern state and the construction of modern modes of knowledge were related in recasting the nature of security. Indeed, the new conceptions of knowledge which characterized this transformation were part of an explicit political agenda which had the problem of security at its center.

The Conference witnessed above 90 participants coming from various parts of the country. The following dignitaries became the part of this grand event;

  • Prof. Omprakash Mishra
  • Prof. Sanjay Kumar Jha
  • Dr Imankalyan Lahir
  • Dr Vijay Kumar Das
  • Dr Sukalpa Chakrabarti
  • Dr Chayanika Deka
  • Shri Seshadri Chari
  • Lt. Gen. D B Shekatakar
  • Shri Tobby Simon
  • Dr. William Nunes

The conference was divided into Nine Technical Sessions and eminent academics, think tanks and journalists have chaired these technical sessions. The conference ended on 16th September, 2018 with valedictory which was address by Shri Seshadri Chari and Prof. Sanjay Kumar Jha. At the end, Dr. Aruna Kumar Malik concluded the magnificent Conference with his insightful and responsive speech.

Address by His Excellency Mr. B S Prakash, Ambassador of India to Brazil, 03 August, 2018

The Centre for Foreign Policy organized the distinguished Ambassador Lecture Series at GNLU. His Excellency Ambassador Mr B. S. Prakash delivered thought provoking and mesmerizing lecture on ‘understanding the concept of national power’. His Excellency addressed numerous issues of international relations and it is not easy to explain the meaning of ‘Power’, more particularly in the context of human relations. We are encountered with many different explanations in various disciplines. Even within a single social discipline, Power is defined in several different dimensions. Mr Ambassador also covered a wide range of explanations starting from economic power, military power, stability, weight, technology and soft power. The three forms of national power are inseparable from each other. Without economic power no nation can develop her military power, and without the latter no nation can play an active role in international relations.

In nutshell, it was a brilliant exposition on international relations and power structures, power games, power politics and parameters. The students were actively involved in the discussion and exchanged fresh ideas of power and its ranges by asking questions and responding to the queries.

Address by His Excellency Mr. Sujan Chinoy, Ambassador of India to Japan, 26 June, 2018

Distinguished Ambassador Lecture Series on 'Indo-Japanese Bilateral Relations for a Peaceful and Prosperous World and Asian Order' Address by H.E Ambassador Mr. Sujan Chinoy, Ambassador of India to Japan at Vitan- II, Third Floor, Administrative Block on 26th June, 2018 at 11:00 AM.

GNLU organized Credit Course on Intelligence and National Security from 8-10 September, 2017

The lecture commenced with the Welcome Address by Prof. (Dr.) Bimal N. Patel, Director of GNLU who explained the importance of intelligence and security to national security. He also emphasised on the critical importance of intelligence in the national security doctrine, practice and approaches.

The course on Intelligence and Security was designed to introduce students and practitioners to the increasing role that intelligence plays in contemporary national security. It will provide basic understanding of what intelligence is, role of its agencies followed by discussion on the concept of security, national security while exploring the nature of contemporary threats that pose challenges to the state. It will also investigate on the responses and choices policy makers are forced to make. The course aims to provide students a deeper appreciation of the nuances of security, threat assessment and role and importance of intelligence.

Course Faculty include:

  • Mr. D.C. Pathak, IPS (R), Former Director, Intelligence Bureau and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee
  • Mr. Rajiv Mathur, IPS (R), Former Director, Intelligence Bureau and Chief Information Commissioner of India.
  • Mr. A. B. Mathur, IPS (R), Former Secretary Security and currently Member of National Security Advisory Board.
  • Mr. Ashok Prasad, IPS (R), Former DGP (J & K) and currently Advisor to MHA
  • Mr. Jaideep Saikia, South Asian security and terrorism expert and author of several books.

The course covered lectures and discussion on the important issues like, Intelligence: Key Concepts and Debates, Regionalism, organized crime and other threats to Security, India’s Security Setup Session, Threat from China and Neighboring states Challenges to National Security, Cross Border and Faith Based Terrorism, Migration and Refugee, Naxalite and Left Wing Extremism, Insurgency in the North- East, Threat of Radicalisation. The course was able to draw 50 participants especially student from various universities across the state and the country besides officers. The participants befitted from the n the vast experience and knowledge of the Resource persons, who could capture the importance and relevance of the issues with their practical experience.

Address by His Excellency Mr. Rengaraj Viswanathan, Former Ambassador of India to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay on 13 July 2017

GNLU organized the Ambassador Lecture Series on 13 July 2017 which was graced by His Excellency Mr. Rengaraj Viswanathan, Former Ambassador of India to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. The title of the lecture was 'Latin America and Indian Foreign Policy'.

Perhaps it was fitting that the ambassador to Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina would begin his address to the faculty and students of Gujarat National Law University by talking about how passionate he was about Latin America. Indeed, his appreciation and respect for a vibrant culture of living life to the fullest was implicit in the warmth with which he spoke of those countries.

HE Mr R. Viswanathan, the first Indian Consul General in Sao Paulo as well as the Head of the Ministry of External Affairs’ Division on Latin America and the Caribbean, highlighted the similarities and differences between lawyers and diplomats. The contrasting but contextually successful beliefs in argument for the former, and agreement for the latter. It struck a chord of instant rapport with a room full of aspiring lawyers and law students – no doubt, a hallmark of a diplomat - setting the ground for an exposition of instances where there is a confluence of work and cooperation – in negotiations, treaty-making and as an alternative resort in international courts and tribunals.

During the lecture, he detailed a unique history of cooperation and trade that India, particularly Gujarat, and Latin America have shared. Beyond the framework of imports and exports, there has also been sharing of culture and values by people such as Harivardhan Shah who set up the Gandhi Peace Foundation to spread Gandhian ideals of non-violence in Medellin.

Overall, HE Mr Viswanathan emphasised the unrealised potential of soft diplomacy, especially with Latin American countries whose potential as allies have been underestimated due to their geographical distance. He then laid down a brief history of how India and Latin America have benefitted over decades through mutual trade of goods, services and ideas, including yoga and the IT industry which has overcome a traditional barrier of business - distance.

He hinted at the perfect complementarity between India and Latin America in terms of resources and trade opportunities. According to him, shifting oil imports from the Middle East to Latin American countries, such as Venezuela, could turn out to be a mutually lucrative opportunity. Latin America holds a vista of opportunities for collaboration with India in areas such as crude oil, pulses, and technology to boost agricultural productivity. There are immensely beneficial prospects of continuing relations with Latin America and he concluded by saying it is time for India and Latin America to take their romantic relationship a step further.

Address by His Excellency Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar on 3 October 2016

GNLU organized the Ambassador Lecture Series on 3 October 2016 which was graced by His Excellency, Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar, Former Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia. The Lecture Series was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

The lecture commenced with the Welcome Address by Prof. (Dr.) Bimal N. Patel, Director of GNLU who expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India for collaborating with GNLU.

H.E. Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar addressed the gathering on the WTO and Multilateral Negotiations calling on his breadth of experience as the former Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia. After engaging students on the history of the WTO and the several negotiation rounds that have taken place since the Bretton Woods Conference. Shri Ashok Sajjanhar spoke about the stance that India has taken in the past across all these rounds culminating into what is know as WTO. He spoke about the barriers India initially put in place to prevent foreign intervention and regulation in the market and described in great detail the factors and forces that led India opening of the market.

He also emphasised on the manner that international organisation function where developed countries imposes the result on the developing countries. It was expected that the developed countries would extend support to developing countries, but the economic crisis in the west witnessed the west adopting protectionist measures too. However, despite the difference India need to participate in these rounds and negotiations not only to safeguard its interest but also receives global attention as an expanding economy. He highlighted that a stronger stance must be decided upon and stuck to at multilateral negotiations – which was previously done for textiles and the Multi-Fibre Agreement, as well as the Pharmaceutical and Process Patents. India like its stand on NPT should evolve its foreign policy in terms having clear position on issues of self-interest by defining what we need to safeguard, decide our interest area and where it lies and follow it up. The core strategic interest must be taken care of.

In answering questions, Shri Sajjanhar engaged with students about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its impact on the Asian economies, as well as the efficacy of anti-dumping policies that India has used against China.

Address by His Excellency Mr. Liu Jinsong, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in India on 31 August 2016

GNLU organized the Ambassador Lecture Series on 31 August 2016 which was graced by H.E. Mr. Liu Jinsong, the Charge d’affaires and DCM, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in India and was accompanied by Mr. Ai Longfei, Education Officer, Education Department; Mr. Tu Pengfei, Third Secretary, Economic & Commercial Counsellor’s Office and Mr. Ren Hao, Attache, Political Section. H.E. Mr. Liu Jinsong delivered the lecture as part of the Ambassador Lecture Series.

The Lecture Series commenced with the Welcome Address by Prof. (Dr.) Bimal N. Patel, Director of GNLU in which he emphasised on the importance of peaceful co-existence mechanism between India and China that existed since the 1950s. Peace, development and winwin co-operative representation are unstoppable trend and Asia holds a uniquely important position in the pursuit of world peace and development. He expressed that since Asia shares many commonalties, hence its time that India-China strengthen the foundation for exchange and mutual learning and that is where the academic institution will play a major role. He also expressed his views about that peaceful co-existence of the two countries in matters of trade, development etc. in the 21st Century. This co-existence should not just be at the governmental level but also at the people-to people level. And this can happen only when academic institutions and people at large contribute in strengthening the relations between these civilizations. H.E. Mr. Liu Jinsong, in his address stated that although law is difficult to study, he stressed on the importance of law. The founding fathers of independent India such as Gandhi, Ambedkar and Patel were all students of law and so also current politicians such as Jaitley and even Xi Jinping and the Chinese Premier.

He shared that exchange on legal issues began since a long time ago through the exchange of Buddhist teachings. Xuanzang and Faxian have come to India and learnt a lot about the Gujarat National Law University Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, Attalika Avenue, Knowledge Corridor, Koba, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India – 382007 Ph: +91-79-23276611/12,Fax:+91-79-23276613, Email: contact@gnlu.ac.in, Website: www.gnlu.ac.in discipline of Buddhism and spread it in China. He disagreed with the statement that law comes from western texts, in fact, law evolves from our civilizations. Criminal laws, civil laws and judicial laws come from South East Asia. Indian, Chinese and Islamic legal systems are the most important in the evolution of law.

He also shared that Indo-China relations rest on five principles of peaceful co-existence - the Panchsheel. World affairs should not be dominated by one or two countries; rather there should be promotion of the spirit of equality. He further said that although BRIC countries have major shares in global GDP and trade flows, there is a lack in proportional share in voting rights at IMF and other international organizations. The boundary disagreements between the two countries can be solved by diplomacy only and existing agreements at the Line of actual control should be implemented. The similarities between India and China outnumber the differences and hence there is a need to focus on bilateral relation and friendship.

Mr. Jinsong further stated that the Chinese sovereignty over the island has solid legal and historical basis while addressing the South China issues. He said that the current conflict is in violation of Philippines and China treaty and the Tribunal is not an official UN organization or ICJ body currently and hence the decision is illegal and invalid. He laid stress that bilateral negotiation is the only way to solve this issue.

After the Lecture series, Mr. Jinsong and the Chinese delegates also interacted with the faculty members and the students. This Lecture Series and the visit of the Chinese delegation at GNLU has been a successful one and one can hope for more collaborations academically between GNLU and the Chinese Universities.

International conference on "India's Foreign Relations - Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean: Strengthening the Political, Economic, Security and Cultural Prospects" 12-13 September 2014

The Centre for Foreign Policy and Security Studies, Gujarat National Law University in collaboration with the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi organised an international conference On "India's Foreign Relations - Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean: Strengthening the Political, Economic, Security and Cultural Prospects" 12-13 September 2014.

With the changing international scenario in terms of the level of economic, social and military development, the foreign policy also has to orient and re-orient itself to provide appropriate external environment conducive for the growth and stability of a country. Further, challenges arise in pursuing foreign policy from conflicts at international level as they can’t be eliminated from the international society as continuation of conflicts constitutes the essence of international politics. As far as Southeast Asia in India’s foreign policy is concerned, the objectives appear to be three-fold: One, to institutionalize linkages with ASEAN and its affiliates; two, to strengthen bilateral relationships with member-states of ASEAN; and three, to carve a niche for itself in Southeast Asia both politically and economically. Furthermore, the UN General Assembly resolution in 1971 declaring the Indian Ocean “for all time as a zone of peace” and latter in September 1970, the Lusaka Conference of the nonaligned countries adopted a declaration “calling upon all states to consider and respect the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace from which great power rivalries and competition as well as bases conceived in the context of such rivalries and competition, either army, navy or airforce bases, are excluded.” Given this background of Indian Ocean, it is significant to address some of the critical questions and also make attempt to find out the problem and prospects of the Indian Ocean.

The seminar was inaugurated by General (Retd.) V.K Singh, Minister of state of External Affairs and the guest of honor was Lieutenant General D B Shekatkar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM and Professor Dr.Bimal Patel, Director of GNLU.

Dr. Aruna Kumar Malik started off the two day conference with his inaugural speech emphasizing on the significance of the conference for which GNLU have received over 81 abstracts from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Dr. Bimal Patel addressed the gathering stating various important aspects related to the Indian Foreign Policy. And also briefly described the achievements of GNLU in this calendar year which included drafting of various laws for the Govt of India, introduction of the Microsoft IPR chair in the University, training of over 300 officers through the continuous workshops conducted in the University.

Lieutenant General D B Shekatkar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM , a distinguished soldier and commander with a vast experience in combating insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast graced the occasion with his address. He spoke with a certain concern for the young generation and also explained the need for sustainable development for the ‘Young Dear Students’. He empahsised on India’s role in the new emerging world order. Further, he expressed the various threats which is prevailing in the space and the sea and why the study of the same will help in the betterment of the Nation as a whole. As he said, ‘Anyone who will control the sea and the space will control the world’. So basically in his opinion, the foreign policies should be designed with an inclination to the national interest. His speech ended with the inspirational quote ‘dreams are those which doesn’t let you sleep’.

Mr. Asit Singh (IRS – 1990 Batch) discussed various projects which are being undertaken by the government of India which included construction of highways which will connect India with Burma and Thailand. He also, discussed the importance of modern infrastructure for strengthening India’s Foreign Relations.

The Chief Guest General(Retd) Vijay Kumar Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, presently the Minister of State of External Affairs and Minister of State (independent charge) for North East Region, in the National Democratic Alliance government lightened up the mood by praising the campus research facilities and the ongoing projects. He also, shared his immense experience with the audience over the ministry affairs and the functioning of the army. Although not considering himself as a professional politician he is confident that the new government has clear motives and promises to deliver – which can be seen with the work done in the field of Foreign Policy within a short span of time. He also, added that there is also a sensitive side to the foreign policies which is being disturbed quite often and the reason for that being nothing but poor deliverance. Importance of the north-eastern states was emphasised and the efforts by the government is to undertaken various projects in the region so as to uplift them to the minimum level of trade and industries domestically as well as with the neighbouring countries.

The inaugural session was followed by a panel discussion. The keynote address was presented Mr Sheshadri Chari, Secretary-General, Forum for Integrated National Security. The other speakers were Dr. Vijay Sakhuja, Director, National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi; Dr. V. Sanjeevan, Former Director, Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi; Prof. P.V. Rao, Director, Centre for Ocean Studies, Osmania University, Hyderabad; Dr. Shamshad Khan, Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi.

The Conference was divided into 4 sessions spanning 2 days. In all there were about 120 participants from all over the country. About 40 papers were presented by participants.

The first session focused on the past, present and future of the look east policy. The speakers highlighted that the look east policy can be effected by better and larger cooperation between nations on several issues such as maritime security, humanitarian and disaster relief, terrorism , cross border trade etc. This will enable them to establish goodwill and revive the look east policy with futuristic modifications. The modifications can be brought about by increasing partnerships in the IOR which has been gaining increasing prominence.

The parallel session saw papers with a focus on special nations among India’s partners like China, Nepal, Japan, Paklistan etc. there were interesting presentations which focused on China’s impacts in the region and its effects on India’s partnerships with nations. The speakers concluded that there is a need for all partners to converge on issues of importance. The speakers then focused on specific issues like smuggling and trafficking and its rise in the Indian Ocean and thus the need for countries to engage. A very pertinent issue of water and diplomacy in the SAARC region was brought to the forefront in this conference.

The next topic was India’s responsibility with respect to its IORA members and the need to counter China’s growing influence in the region. Various suggestions ranging from cooperation with China on issues of common interest like security and strengthening India’s presence in ASEAN or increase economic cooperation in the IOR.

The parallel session focused on India’s influence as a strategic partner in ASEAN with a special focus on partner nations like Myanmar, Bangladesh etc. Such nations can be used to establish a link between India and ASEAN to solve priority issues related to energy. The underlying theme had been the need to revisit our policies relating to the North East. Engagement with the North Eastern Regions can emerge as a breakthrough for recognizing India’s economic potential and solve its security issues.

The second day saw the conference focus on issues like promotion of cultural aid and IT diplomacy as new options. The speakers highlighted the role of China which is merging as global centre of power. China’s grasp on the region now ranges from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean. Thus the best way to find any solution is to look at India and China’s relation in the light of the IOR.

The last session focused on maritime security and threats in the IOR like piracy and energy diplomacy. The papers gave an example of Malacca Straits and its effects on the energy flows. The trade flow in IOR amounts to 2/3 of total world flows. The issue of piracy is of extreme importance which had emerged in the IOR due to groups in Malaysia and Indonesia. This needs to be resolved with a partnership among littoral states. Another important issue is energy transportation which takes place mainly through the Indian Ocean. India has a diversified energy requirement ranging from oil, natural gas and uranium for which it needs to wider cooperation.

The conclusion arrived at from the fruitful discussion in all these sessions is that there is a need for India to increase security in the IOR so that its economic, political and diplomatic interest are maintained along with that of its partners. This can be done through new ways using tools of culture, IT etc. which can help to revive the Look East Policy.

Conference on "India's Foreign Relations - Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean: Strengthening the Political, Economic, Security and Cultural Prospects", on 12-13 September 2014

Ambassador Lecture Series

  • Israeli Ambassador Sofer outlines prospects of Indo-Israel Relations in the next decade at GNLU, Monday, 30 August 2010

GNLU marked another milestone in its journey towards contributing to legal infrastructure to the nation, when it inaugurated the Distinguished Ambassador Lecture Series. His Excellency Ambassador Mr Mark Sofer, Ambassador of Israel to India, inaugurated the series by delivering an address on Indo-Israel Political, Economic and Security Relations in the Next Decade on Monday, 30 August 2010. The Israeli delegation included Ambassador Sofer, Mrs. Oran Sagiv, Consul General of Israel in Mumbai and Ms. Sharon Rappaport, Second Secretary, Political Affairs, Embassy of Israel in New Delhi.

Presiding over the function Ambassador Sofer appreciated GNLU efforts to contribute to create better understanding on bilateral ties between nations, in this instance, India- Israel ties. He provided an excellent overview of the current relationship and also outlined challenges and prospects both countries are facing in the next decade in their bilateral relations. He stated that although India did not maintain a close diplomatic relations with Israel for almost more than forty years but a lot has changed post 1992. Post 1948 India-Israel relation was so negative as India voted against the establishment of Israel as a State for which even till 1991 an Indian was not allowed to go to Israel but now at this moment Israel is among the top 5 embassies in India. He remains astonished that why India and Israel did not enter into diplomatic relationship for such a long time despite both the countries having a similar history of colonization and partition. Besides, there is an age old relations that dates back to the two great civilizations. He pondered that rather than looking at the past years of difference let us understand why such huge changes have taken place. According to Ambassador Sofer, India-Israeli relationship has been bubbling into different directions. The Ambassador stated that India has a proper bilateral relation with Israel when it comes to Trade. He avoided commenting on the Defense Relationships but just said that it does exists. Both India and Israel need to free itself from internal shackles and move in the new direction toward a more normal and dynamic relationship. With change in leadership in both countries relationship between the two would also change.

The ambassador appreciated the initiative of being provided a platform where he could express his views to the academia unlike his usual diplomatic position where one tends to be constrained. Students and academia provides a space where an array of issues can be discussed and which enable diplomats to learn and know the views of the general public.

Professor Bimal N. Patel, GNLU, welcomed the Israeli delegation and made remarks on economic, cultural, military, political ties between the two democracies, in his welcome address. Director Patel expressed his hope that India and Israel will be able to achieve the target of $12 billion US dollars by 2012-13, once the free trade agreement is put in place. In his welcome remarks, he invited Ambassador Sofer to encourage a team of vice-chancellors and heads of institutions to visit India for promoting further academic and research ties, to send a team of students to visit institutions of academic and research excellence and to realize an initiative of exchange of judges and jurists of both countries under the Indo-Israel Legal Colloquium which was signed between the heads of judiciary of the two nations last year.

Dr. William Nunes, Director of the GNLU Centre for Foreign Policy and Security Studies, highlighted the objective of the GNLU centre for foreign policy and security studies. The objective is to provide a fillip to the analysis of foreign policy and security issues and contribute to the expansion of knowledge of Indian and international security policies and generate an awareness amongst the public at large. GNLU seeks to address the decision makers, strategic planners, academicians and media in India, South Asia and the world. He reiterated that the GNLU endeavors to provide a platform for scholars, institutions and practitioners of foreign relation analysis, security studies, area studies, international law to interact and provide an independent point of view for decision makers and decision seekers in India and also in the rest of the global arena.

Address by Her Excellency Ms. Orna Sagiv, Consul General, Cosulate General of Israel, Mumbai, Thursday, 14 March 2013

Israel: A Land of Innovations: Visit by the H E. Ms. Orna Sagiv, Consul General, Cosulate General of Israel, Mumbai, Thursday, 14 March 2013

H. E. Ms. Orna Sagiv, Consul General of Israel in Mumbai, visited GNLU today (14th March, 2013) and delivered a lecture on “Israel: A Land of Innovations” to the GNLU community, under the auspices of the GNLU Centre for Foreign Policy and Security Studies (GCFPSS).

Ms. Sagiv emphasized on the developments in Israel, while stating that the world always see towards Israel in terms of defense and drip irrigation i.e., agro-technology. No doubt, Israel place geo-politically has not been favourable but this small nation has grown to make a large impact especially in areas of innovations. Although, not an oil rich or resource rich nation it has strived to become human resource rich. From the production of Jaffa oranges Israel has gone to export these oranges worldwide.

In 1948 with a population of about 6 lakhs with 65% of the population in agriculture, today Israel with a population of about 80 lakhs has a only 2.4 % of the population involved in agriculture and it has agriculture surplus which is exported. Besides, agriculture Israel has grown in industry – pharmacy and also technology. Israel is the only country to spend almost 5% of its GDP on R&D. Not surprisingly Bloomberg ranks Israel Number 1 in R&D intensity.

Ms. Sagiv also highlighted the factors that make Israel what it is today. It was Israel first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion who laid the foundation by emphasizing on the fact that ‘vision must replace experience’. Furthermore, the President Shimon Peres also see the smallness of the nation as opportunity to specialize in quality.

What are the reasons for innovations? Answering to this point Her Excellency stated that the strong family system, mandatory drafting (military duty), Chutzpah, Education and Tikkum Olam are some of the factors that make Israel different. Emphasizing on the mandatory military service, she stated that it pays off in the long run as in enable citizens to learn how to convert adversities into advantages and also inculcates a sense of duty. Chutzpah, thought cannot be translated into English, is the guiding line of life. It means ‘you get what you see’ and Tikkum Olam is similar to taking action but action to make the world a better place. When 50 top engineers of the country were asked as for the top reason that makes them tick, the answer was, ‘to change the world’ while reason ‘Money’ was 11th in the reasons. Thus culture and values have gown a long way in the development of Israel as a nation of innovations. The world should learn from Israel in renewable energy technology. Israel is the number one country in reusing water. Almost 80% of the water is reused and made portable. It also possess the world largest desalination plant and it’s very effective in management of water resources. It also harvesting sun energy and 90% of the household use solar energy for warm water. Israel is willing to share its expertise to help bring in change in the world toward creating a more sustainable planet.

Israel is celebrating 20 years of bilateral relations with India and it looks forward to strengthen this relation. Israel and India share much in common in terms of shared history (ancient civilization), culture and values, plural democracy and security concerns. Israel-Indo trade in the last few years has increased form US $ 192 million to almost US $ 5 billion. FTA is on the card and it will go a long way in developing bilateral relations. Presently, Israel has established 24 centres for Excellence in 8 states of India. It is also looking towards Gujarat as a hub of collaboration in the area of agriculture and pharmacy.

The lecture was also followed by the Q&A session by students and ended with the vote of thanks from the Dean, Academic Affairs.

Address by His Excellency Mr. Akitaka Saiki, Ambassador of Japan to India, Tuesday, 31 January 2012

H.E. Ambassador Mr.Akitaka Saiki,Mr. Shinichi IIDA, Consul, Consulate-General of Japan, Mr. Tsukada TAMAKI, Minister-Economic and Development and Mr. Yasujiro MIYAKE, First Secretary,Embassy of Japan visited the GNLU today and delivered a lecture on the Indo-Japan Bilateral Relations to the GNLU community, under the auspices of the GNLU Centre on Foreign Policy and Security Studies (GCFPSS).

Mr. Saikistated that the bilateral relations have a history dating to the Post Wold War II period when Indian offered help for the reconstruction of Japan. Even after the Tsunami disaster India was quick to respond to Japan’s need in term of humanitarian aid. Japan and India have had cordial relations since long. Although both are contenders for the Security Council they are cooperating and coordinating efforts to secure a position in the UN.

Japan has been contributing much in term of investment in infrastructure. It has provided technology to the Delhi Metro project and also looks forward to share its modern technology with India to help India built its infrastructure and connecting major cities of the countries. The rationale for investment is that it leads to the creation of job for citizens of both the countries. In terms of the total trade India’s trade with Japan is less than one percent. However, in the last few years there is has been an upward trend, particularly in the last three years investment has increased four times especially in the area of pharmaceutical where investment is about 15,000 Cr.

India is Japan’s number one recipient of aid to the tune of 130 trillion year and Japan will live to its commitment in the years to come. The ambassador also emphasised on the area of convergence where India and Japan share common goals like ensuring law and order in the seas, climate change, and sharing of modern technology.

Professor (Dr.) Bimal Patel, Director GNLU, welcomed the visiting delegation and appraised about GNLU’s holistic approach to legal education covering teaching, research, extension and training. The Ambassador and Director Patel discussed exchange of students and faculty members, setting up of joint study group. Dr. Patel has also invited and encouraged high level participation of Japanese delegation of various sectors which have direct or indirect stake in India and Gujarat in particular. He also mentioned that the determined efforts by India and Japan to inject life into their bilateral relationship are showing positive results. To move forward with the celebration year of 60th anniversary of Indo-Japan relations, Dr. Patel had suggested some of the vital proposals;

Establishment of educational excellence

A joint Indo-Japanese Relations Chair under the auspices of the relevant authorities of India and Japan would enable the scholars, students and all well-wishers of our bilateral relations to study our economic, cultural, educational, political, strategic relations and make informed propositions to the policy-makers to further strengthen Indo-Japan ties

The vice-chancellors’ or Head of Higher Education institutes of India and Japan during this 60th anniversary celebration year

Collaborative research in area of law and research on interdisciplinary in nature

The lecture was also followed by the Q&A session by student members and ended by the vote of thanks from the senior student member.

Address by His Excellency Mr. Peter Varghese AO, Australian High Commissioner to India, 3rd October 2011

International peace has an inseparable nexus with globally symbiotic relationships among the members of the world. Under the auspices of the ‘Distinguished Ambassador Lecture Series’ an initiative of the GNLU Centre for Foreign Policy and Security Studies, GNLU deemed its utmost honour in hosting His Excellency Mr. Peter Varghese AO, Australian High Commissioner to India who addressed the august gathering on the dynamics and the intricacies of ‘Indo-Australian Bilateral Relations’ this Monday, 3rd October 2011. H.E Ms. Avryl Lattin, Deputy Consul General, Australian Deputy Consulate General and Mr. Jinendra Khara, Business Development Manager, Australian Trade Commission also graced the occasion.

Mr. Bimal N Patel, Director, GNLU, in his welcome address highlighted various avenues of Indo- Australian collaborations that could possibly augment profound bilateral relations between these two major players in the world arena. GNLU expressed interests in having ties in the areas of sports law between the University of Queensland and the GNLU, joint research projects and emphasized the need and encouraged the High Commissioner to motivate more and more Australian students to visit Indian institutions. Director Patel mentioning that seeing is believing, informed the audience that GNLU has invited Australian students and institutions for Study Tour of India.

His Excellency Mr. Peter Varghese AO, in his intellectually-enriching key note address discussed the nature of the volatile dynamics of Indo-Australian Foreign Diplomatic Relations. He remarked that “… so far, there is nothing in the trajectory of India that is against pro- Australian interests” and that, on the other hand, there is a convergence of interests over various issues in the global sphere in what he termed “…cordial yet largely underdeveloped relationship between the two nations”. Commenting on the intricacies of the Sino-Indian dynamics in the international arena, H.E Mr. Varghese wittily remarked that ‘India is a settling point of relations and not an Anti- China chess piece on anybody’s chess board’. Further, he went on to shed some light on the economic, political and strategic facets of Indo-Australian relations and the profound impact of the same at World Forums like G-20 etc. Also, he maintained that Australia wholeheartedly supports India’s stance on her efforts in the direction of permanent membership at the UN Security Council.

Thereafter, another key issue discussed was that of ‘Maritime Security’ as Australia being an island nation and the Indian Ocean being a major exchange gateway. He also appreciated GNLU’s new venture of organizing the Global Maritime Security and Anti- Piracy Conference 2011 from 25- 27th November, 2011 which would open floodgates of Regional and International Cooperation on this quintessential concern. He sympathized with the victims of violence on the Indian Diaspora but reiterated the utmost commitment of the Government of Australia to ensure internal security and safety for all. Conclusively, he said that the rise of India is not a cause of anxiety but a cause for celebration for the world at large progressing towards stronger global democratization and emphasized on the role of the Indian Diaspora in Australia in strengthening ties between the two nations.

All in all, this momentous occasion, of the visit of the Australian High Commissioner and the other delegates at the Gujarat National Law University, marks the onset of renewed strategic and peaceful ties between these two nations that would open newer vistas for further cultural, economic, strategic and intellectual collaborations and exchanges between the two key player nations in the dynamic international arena.

Indo-USA Relations: Nine Months after President Obama Visit-Sunday, 21 August 2011

Gujarat National Law University and the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi, invite you to a joint Seminar on the Indo-USA Relations – Nine Months after President Obama visit to India on Sunday, 21 August 2011, from 1030-1230 hours at the GNLU, E-4, Electronics Estate, GIDC, Sector 26, Gandhinagar.

The Seminar aims to critically and systematically analyse the developments and issues that have occurred in the foreign relations between India and the USA since the visit of President Obama in November 2010. The Seminar will focus on four areas ONLY, namely, terrorism, energy, health and good governance.

"Tough Choices Lie Ahead, for India and US to become meaningful partners in the 21st Century", concludes GNLU Seminar on Indo-US Relations

Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) in association with the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi, conducted a joint Seminar on the Indo-US Relations marking Nine Months since President Obama’s visit to India on Sunday, 21 August 2011.

The seminar aimed at arriving at a holistic conclusion after debate on hard facts and results. The conclusion remained at bay while the debate ensues further for many more such gatherings. The Seminar saw five research papers being presented in areas spread over terrorism, energy, health and good governance.

Prof. Bimal Patel, Director GNLU set the floor debate with his introductory remark where he quoted President Obama "I want every Indian citizen to know, the United States of America will not simply be cheering you on from the sidelines. We will be right there with you, shoulder to shoulder" Professor Patel concluded with some thought-provoking questions such as that the Indo-US relations, in the last decade and especially since the last year, have raised a range of expectations on part of the leadership, economic, security and civil society of both nations. Whether the US will come to be proven as a ‘time-tested ally’ like the Russian Federation, whether the US will have patience and perseverance to remain mutually beneficial engaged with the nation of 1.2 billion population for at least one decade, whether in the security domain, the US will live up towards India in the same way as it lived up to the expectations of NATO members of the European nations in the old days, can India’s economic, political and knowledge clout in the world turn US into a potential adversary, can India successfully resist the unwarranted pressures and advises from the US in strategic areas of India’s interests and how long, or lastly, is India’s self-believed, self-portrayed and perceived role and status in global affairs an engineering of the US and like-minded nations and actors, are some of the questions, which the Indian and US foreign policy makers are ought to face in real sense of the term.Ms. Manika Jain, Director, ICWA, New Delhi, stressed on the expanding interests and growth in partnership that the Obama visit fostered. From a diplomat’s view point she emphasized that the initiative undertaken in the arenas of food security, technology sharing and energy are indeed commendable but she lamented that a lot remained to be achieved in India’s bilateral negotiations with Pakistan as far as the question of terrorism was concerned.

A nuclear scientist and academician Prof. Paranjape from the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar spoke on the prospects of growth in the energy sector specifically of the nuclear kind. He emphasized that the import of enriched Uranium under the auspices of the 123 agreement took India closer to achieving her third stage in her Nuclear program with special regard to the fast breeder technology.

Prof. Anand Mavalavkar and Prof. Amit Dholakia, who are both professors of international relations at the MS University, Baroda, spoke on terrorism and good governance respectively. Prof. Mavlankar noted that given Pakistan’s domestic situation and array of internal problems, India’s reaction towards Pakistan should steer clear of being overtly aggressive with a view of protecting our own national interests, while Prof. Dholakia opined that certain essentials of good governance like transparency, participation of stake holders, responsiveness and effectiveness of institutions, accountability, equity and the rule of law would serve the two nations well in developing a model of good governance locally and globally and lay the tomb stone on menaces such as corruption and money laundering.

Dr. William Nunes, convener of the Centre of Foreign Policy and Security Studies spoke on the need for bettering the health services by way of collaboration with universities and medical research institutes. He was quoted to have said that ‘Health Diplomacy’ can increase the involvement of key international partners in the global response to health problems.

The seminar concluded with the resolve to foster greater co-operation in the international circuit and lauded on the role needed to be played by emerging powers and the developed world alike within the peripheries of the United Nations.

Address by His Excellency Mr. Lin Chung Ying, Consul-General, Singapore High Commission, Mumbai, Monday, 25 July 2011

Mr. Lin Chung Ying, Consul-General, Singapore High Commission, Mumbai, and Ms Chan Kah Mei, First Secretary (Economic Affairs), Singapore High Commission visited the GNLU and delivered a lecture on the Indo-Singapore Bilateral Relations to the GNLU community, under the auspices of the GNLU Centre on Foreign Policy and Security Studies (GCFPSS).

Mr. Lin stated that the bilateral relations has a history of more than 200 years since the time it was once a fishing village and when Sir Raffles landed with the Indian sepoys in 1819. The Indians who settled there as plantation workers and the influx of other Indian played an important role in the creation of modern Singapore as they contributed in the forms of administrative and technical staff, laborers, business people etc. He also emphasised the role Singapore played in India’s liberation movement as it was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose who revitalized Indian nationalism on the shore of Singapore.

Lee Kuan Yew the first prime minister of Singapore admired Nehru and was also committed to secularism and democratic socialism. However, India-Singapore relations were marked more extraneous factors because of Singapore’s leaning towards the West and India’s leaning towards the then former Soviet Union. Furthermore, the bilateral relations marked low ebb especially because of India’s stand on the Viet Nam and Cambodian issues. However, despite this, Lee Kuan Yew as well as his successors believed that India can and should follow an activist policy towards South East Asia as it is vital for counterbalancing China.

Following the Paris Peace Accord India-Singapore relations changed and this was marked by Singapore’s’ role in making India a sectoral dialogue partner and latter a full dialogue partner of the ASEAN. Subsequent to the visit of the heads of state, India and Singapore cooperation reached a new height in the culmination of Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement (CECA) in 2005. Highlighting the benefits of the CECA and the significant bilateral trade which has substantially grown from US$ 15 billion in 2005 to US$ 30 billion by the end of 2010. Furthermore, Singapore is the second largest FDI investor in India and has played an important role in setting up the IT Park in Bangalore.

India and Singapore have also signed defence agreement in terms of joint Naval anti-submarine exercise and also joint military exercise. The relations are also marked by the setting of Joint Ministerial Committee, the establishment of India-Singapore Parliamentary Forum and Indo-Singapore Strategic Dialogue forum. The effort of Singapore is to bring about more people to people and also exchange of academician, business people to foster greater understanding between the two countries – Track II diplomacy. It also plans to set up an Indian Heritage Centre in Singapore and aims at linking the South Asian Diaspora.

Mr. Lin also emphasized on CECA which is due for review in September, 2011. He stated that there are 4000 Indian companies in Singapore and stated reasons as to what Singapore has to offer.

  • It is strategically located and logistically it is the gateway to South East Asia and also the globe.
  • It has FDAs with many countries. The partners cover nearly one half of the world’s GDP.
  • FDAs provides industries access to large chunk of global trade and it is able to interact with thousand of European, American and Japanese company

Finally, the common factor that brings Singapore close to India is the rise of China and Singapore’s strategic and important role in the South East Asia. He then highlighted the importance of Indian population in Singapore and how they have integrated themselves into the new culture. He also indicated that the work of Sunanda K. Datta Ray clears the perception of India vis-à-vis Singapore succinctly brought out in the book entitled, “Looking East to Look West: Lee Kuan Yew’s Mission India”. The book, clearly underlines the bilateral relations as, ‘the journey from the sunlit peak of hope into the valley of dark despair, and now towards the radiance of a new dawn’.

Director Bimal Patel, GNLU, welcomed the visiting delegation and appraised about GNLU’s holistic approach to legal education covering teaching, research, extension and training. Consul-General Lin and Director Patel discussed exchange of students and faculty members, setting up of joint study group. Director Patel invited and encouraged high level participation of representatives of various sectors which have direct or indirect stake in the Global Maritime Security and Anti-Piracy Conference which will be held by the GNLU in November 2011.

Address by His Excellency Lt. General (R) Andi M. Ghalib, Ambassador of Republic of Indonesia to India, Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Indonesian Ambassador H.E. Lt. Gen. (Retd) Andi M. Ghalib along with Councellor Leonard F. Hutabarat, Councellor –Political Affaris and Dr. Son Kuswadi Education attaché visited GNLU today and H.E the ambassador addressed the Students today, Wednesday, 20 July 2011.

The Ambassador emphasised on the cultural relations and similarities India and Indonesia share since ancient time and also how Sanskrit has been engraved into their culture. He also mentioned of the Epic Ramayana and Mahabharata and that the King of Indonesia was being trained at Nalanda.

Post Colonial relations between Nehru and Sukarno was also marked with common ideology in term of anti-imperialism, freedom and security. The two leaders shared solidarity and were the key figures, the two pillars of the Bandung Conference of 1955 and Non-Aligned Movement. On the basis of their similar world views, both countries built an enduring friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation.

India- Indonesian relations were marked by certain ups and downs but in the recent years periodic ministerial and official levels discussion has once again helped the two nations to strengthen economic and commercial ties.

The Look East Policy provides much wider scope not only for development but also provides a level playing field better than the ones offered by Europe and North America. Indonesia is the third fastest developing economy in Asia with economic growth of 4.5% in 2010 and the same is expected to grow to 5.6 % by the end of 2011. Furthermore, the New Investment Law provides for more freedom and protection for investments in all sectors. It looks forward to strengthen partnership with India not only in economics but also in education and people to people exchange. India- Indonesia bilateral trade have grown over the past few years from $ 4 billion to almost $ 13 billion in 2011 and is expected to grow to $ 20 billion by the year 2015. His Excellency also indicated that soft power diplomacy in terms of cultural exchange could be strengthen. Indian films are widely watched, Indian food and a large Indian population in Indonesia, economically well off, can play a major role in strengthening the ties.

The ambassador emphasised the importance of India in the region and the two largest democracies coupled with growing economy can seek further cooperation and he sees India as the potential leader of the world and place ASEAN in the global community. However MOUs are only signed document and we need to work out how to implement it. Talking about the Centre of Excellence and particularly about the Centre for Foreign Policy and Security Studies the ambassador believes that such centres could work together to appreciate the prospect and challenges and provide better understanding of the vital areas of convergence. He looks forward to signing several MOUs particularly in the area of Education wherein he emphasised six areas.

  • Exchange of research materials, publication etc.
  • Training programme
  • Exchange of scholars, teachers and students
  • Seeking commonality of qualifications
  • Promote Indonesian and Indian studies respectively
  • Cooperation in area of Information technology, computer and Mathematic science.

Finally the Ambassador emphasised on good partnership with neighbour especially India and looks forward to Universities like GNLU to help improve mutual understanding and cooperation towards common goal.

The Director GNLU, Bimal Patel and William Nunes, Head of Centre for Foreign Policy and Security Studies feel that such exchange will not only bring nations to understand the area of convergence in Security, Education, Cultural and Economy but is also important steps toward developing better relations with neighbouring countries of the region. Prof. Bimal Patel suggested that GNLU proposes to work out a plan of action where in students as well as teachers from Indonesian universities could visit GNLU and vice-versa.

Inauguration of GNLU Centre for Foreign Policy Studies and Book Launch South Asian Security - Wednesday, 9 December 2009

GNLU invites all persons interested in South Asian Security and Indian Foreign Policy to a unique collaborative event between three universities - GNLU, Gujarat University and M. S. University to launch a book published by GNLU Faculty - Mr Manan Dwivedi - South Asian Security and launch of GNLU Centre for Foreign Policy Studies. The launch will take place on Wednesday, 9 December 2009 at 16.00 hours at Senate Hall, Gujarat University, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad.

  • Launch of Book - South Asian Security - Manan Dwivedi (GNLU)
  • Commentary on Book - Prof Amit Dholakia (M.S.University, Baroda)
  • Future of Indian Foreign Policy: Opportunities and Challenges - Prof Bimal N. Patel (GNLU)
  • Role of Civil Society Institutions in Indian Foreign Policy - Prof S. Devare, Director-General, Indian Council of World Affairs, Delhi
  • Address by Prof Ramesh Goyal, Vice-Chancellor, M. S. University
  • Address by Dr Parimal Trivedi - Vice-Chancellor, Gujarat University
  • Venue: Senate Hall, Gujarat University, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad